Monitoring your driving to help reduce insurance costs

More than a million drivers across the country are already taking part in pay–as–you–drive or usage–based insurance coverage from large providers.

“Technology is coming to every part of our life, and auto insurance is no different,” said Angie’s List founder Angie Hicks. “If you have a safe driving record, and you have good driving habits, you might consider an insurance company that gives discounts when they monitor your driving behavior through a tracking system.”

Hoping to save some money, Lyndi Cook enrolled in a program offered by her auto insurance company.

“Our next renewal coming up, we saved ten percent on one vehicle and five percent on another,” Cook said.

Insurance experts say the majority of drivers enrolled save money by releasing information such as mileage, when and how fast they drive, and how hard they apply the brakes.

“I didn’t get a very good grade in braking, so I’m trying to be more aware of that now,” added Cook.

Some companies track data through a small device that plugs into a port under the car’s dashboard, while others log basic driving statistics using programs such as OnStar.

“It’s perfect for a young driver,” said Ranjit Puthran, an Allstate Insurance Agent. “If you have a young driver, a teen driver, and you want them to see how they are driving, what their driving history is, what their habits are – that’s a great way for a teen to look at their driving habits and correct those.”

Some drivers, however, feel the technology infringes too much on privacy and do not want insurance companies knowing everything about their driving habits. Angie’s List advises consumers to understand what information the company is tracking and how it will be used before enrolling.

“It does not penalize you for your driving history,” Puthran added. “It only rewards you, those safe drivers that are driving safely. Right now, the average savings for a safe driver is 10 percent.”

Talk to your agent to find other ways to save on your car insurance. Many providers offer discounts for a safe driving record, low mileage, and the bundling of insurance plans.